Sunflower Municipal Court – Sunflower, MS

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Sunflower Municipal Court INformation

Court: Sunflower Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 127, Sunflower, MS 38778”
Phone: 662-569-3388

City: Sunflower
County: Sunflower
State: Mississippi

What is the purpose of the Sunflower Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Sunflower Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Sunflower, Mississippi

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Sunflower?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific duration.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Sunflower, MS

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Sunflower Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1k or one year in jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Sunflower Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Sunflower Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Sunflower, Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Sunflower, Mississippi?

Depending on the scope of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Sunflower Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.